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Going Gluten-Free: Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

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Before you decide to go gluten-free as part of your dietary plan, it is important to know about the common misconceptions that surround gluten-free diets, in addition to the great benefits.

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Going Gluten-Free: Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

  1. 1. GOING GLUTEN-FREE: CELIAC DISEASE VS. GLUTEN SENSITIVITY By Dr. Ali Ghahary
  2. 2. At Brentwood Medical Clinic, Dr. Ali Ghahary is a strong advocate of patients living healthy lifestyles, which includes low-carb and gluten-free diets.
  3. 3. However, before you decide to go gluten-free as part of your dietary plan, it is important to know about the common misconceptions that surround gluten-free diets, in addition to the great benefits.
  4. 4. Perhaps the most common misconception of all is that going gluten-free will help you lose weight. While individuals on gluten-free diets have reported weight loss, there have been no studies to support that going gluten-free alone will help one lose weight.
  5. 5. Gluten-free diets are generally recommended for those diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten- sensitivity. However, if weight-loss is your main goal, then gluten-free diets can be great when used in combination with low-carb diets (such as the South Beach diet or Paleo diet), which will not only leave you feeling healthier and more energized, but you will also see noticeable weight-loss results over time.
  6. 6. You might be wondering how you know whether or not you will need to introduce a gluten-free diet into your lifestyle. As mentioned above, one of the main reasons why one might choose to go gluten-free is due to a diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. 1 in 100 people in Canada are diagnosed with celiac disease, while an estimated 50 to 70 percent of Canadians have intolerance to gluten (otherwise known as gluten sensitivity.)
  7. 7. Gluten is a grain that is found in wheat, rye and barley, and it can cause inflammation of the small intestines in those with celiac disease.
  8. 8. SYMPTOMS OF CELIAC DISEASE Symptoms of celiac disease include increased or decreased appetite, nausea, bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, and stomach pain. There are also other health issues associated with celiac disease, including anemia, fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, migraines and depression.
  9. 9. To test for celiac disease, blood tests are ordered which check for antibodies and how they respond to gluten. If the blood test comes back positive then that alludes to a possible celiac disease diagnosis. DIAGNOSIS
  10. 10. For a more firm diagnosis, your physician can order an endoscopy. An endoscopy will show damage of the intestinal cells, something that is a characteristic of celiac disease. DIAGNOSIS
  11. 11. Gluten-sensitivity shares similar symptoms to that of celiac disease, making it more difficult to diagnose. Eliminating certain foods from your diet may work as an indicator as to whether or not you are gluten-sensitive. Allergy tests may also be beneficial. DIAGNOSIS
  12. 12. Whether you are diagnosed with celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, it is important to be aware of the foods you are ingesting, as not all gluten-free promoted foods are truly without gluten.
  13. 13. For example, certain processed foods such as snacks, cookies, and cakes may still be grain- based, and may hold an even higher calorie count of the wheat- based grains that they are replacing.
  14. 14. It is always a good idea to read the labels on the foods you buy to ensure that they are in fact gluten-free.
  15. 15. The success of a gluten-free diet is dependent on your determination and self-discipline, as it takes a lot of work. It is important to note that going gluten-free does not necessarily mean calorie-free, thus why it is a good idea to enter into a gluten-free diet jointly with that of a low- carb diet, which is best for weight loss.

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